I become more dismayed every day at the failure not only of feminism to acknowledge that gender is a variable (for that is to be expected), but of others to point this out. Here are some points on the subject which are by no means a masterpiece.

 

The brilliant Girl Writes What has a great video on atheism (for those of you who don’t know, feminism has caused significant disagreement within the atheist community) where she points out that the question of whether God exists and the issue of whether religion is good or bad are separate, and that conflating the two is problematic. It seems to me that the same logic can be applied to the question of gender differences; the idea that gender differences are socially constructed rather than innate, of course, forms the backbone of much of the feminist activity going on today (hence campaigns seeking to brand princess related toys ‘sexist’ etc.), is separate to the question of whether those differences are good or bad.

 

Anyway, feminists currently working on the theory that we are all brainwashed into our gender roles bemoan this tragedy. But they also accuse people who make ‘negative’ generalisations about women (apparently they are the self-appointed judges of what is and is not ‘negative’) of being ‘sexist’. Hang on a minute though, if us women really are brainwashed into…shock horror… liking shoes, then we like shoes. Surely in that case it’s not sexist to say that we like shoes, is it? Or is it sexist because women don’t actually like shoes, and the whole thing’s a lie? Because in that case we can’t be brainwashed, can we? Make up your mind please. Otherwise we end up in a totally circular train of logic – ‘women like shoes because they live in a society that tells them to like shoes’. Aside from being a total insult to the intelligence of women, this argument fails to address any external factors for why this might be. (Go on someone; tell me in the comments that the external factor is ‘patriarchy’. Go on. Do it.)

 

So, I think feminism shouldn’t get to have it both ways – if gender differences are ingrained from birth, why bother branding those who draw attention to these differences as ‘sexists’. Either the stereotypes have a basis in day to day reality or they don’t. If you want people to stop saying that women love shoes because you don’t think that sort of thing should be encouraged (because you think gender differences are bad), why not explain to the people who make adverts like the one in the link above that they ought to join in the righteous reconditioning of social consciousness – using all product design and marketing material to teach women and men right thinking, rather than to sell products? Oh, wait. Nobody would listen to such puritanical nonsense. Better stick to the oppression theory in that case.

 

Doesn’t it seem more likely that while men and women are equally capable of shallowness, callousness, greed and superficiality, that the manner in which these traits are expressed will be conditioned by gender to a certain extent?

 

For example, does it not make sense that people will interact with individuals who are potential sexual partners differently to how they interact with those who are not? And that this might hold when a person is being both pleasant and unpleasant?

 

But no. None of this logic is allowed, because men and women are supposed to be equal. Equal as in the same. Nobody is allowed to mention the word ‘biology’ (seriously, they fall into name-calling apoplexy if you do), and therefore nobody is allowed to suggest that we might want to view gender as a scientific variable. Nothing can be the result of a variety of factors coming together to produce an outcome; only discrimination can explain why the world doesn’t allow people who are slightly smaller and have babies & boobies to live lives just like men.

 

Well, I’m not just a less muscular version of a man, thank you very much. My strength does not lie in muscular power. If, on average, men are capable of physically overpowering women does it not make sense that women have a different kind of power, a different potency, a different allure? And yes, that power might be connected to sexuality. You may not like that it is, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean there’s an evil abstract entity enforcing it that you have to bring down.

 

Well, anyway that was my little foray into feminist thinking. Now I’m going to return to something I said above. I think it might be a little bit more likely. The real problem here is that feminists don’t like gender differences. And that’s ok. You don’t have to like everything. And you can campaign against anything you don’t like. That’s the beauty of living in a free country (although here in the UK feminism is working on changing that, but anyway…). But please don’t construct a narrative in which we are all at the mercy of an invisible force that only you have the intelligence to see and understand.

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About femalefedupwithfeminism

I am a very proud non feminist female. I believe that women and men are equally valid as people and I don't think women need an 'ism' to prove this. I don't believe in the 'patriarchy'. I don't believe that it is harder to be a woman than to be a man. I don't believe that everything that is gender specific is automatically sexist. I do not hate or wish harm to anyone; I simply believe that there is a more mature and constructive way of dealing with many of the problems faced by both men and women in today's confusing and changing world than applying what is essentially a fundamentalist ideology to every aspect of society and culture.
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8 Responses to

  1. “But they also accuse people who make ‘negative’ generalisations about women (apparently they are the self-appointed judges of what is and is not ‘negative’) of being ‘sexist’. Hang on a minute though, if us women really are brainwashed into…shock horror… liking shoes, then we like shoes. Surely in that case it’s not sexist to say that we like shoes, is it? Or is it sexist because women don’t actually like shoes, and the whole thing’s a lie? Because in that case we can’t be brainwashed, can we? Make up your mind please. Otherwise we end up in a totally circular train of logic – ‘women like shoes because they live in a society that tells them to like shoes’.”
    It doesn’t matter whether women like shoes because they’ve been brainwashed into liking them or they made up their own minds and decided to like them, if most women like shoes then what is sexist about saying “women like shoes”? And how come it is ok to say something like “men like beer”? Maybe they only like beer because society tells males that they like beer so they get brainwashed into liking beer or maybe they like beer because they like beer or maybe only some men like beer, but it’s still ok to say “men like beer.” Feminists won’t tell you you’re being sexist for saying that!

  2. Buying a birthday card for my father, who does not like beer, golf, or football is quite hard. I should start a campaign I think…

    • Not a bad idea really. To be fair, are women’s cards a bit gender-stereotyped too? I don’t know as I hardly buy cards these days. Card giving has gone down to a bare minimum amongst my friends. I do know that 15-20 years ago I saw cards for women with pictures of virtually naked men and also cards with sexist stuff written about men, yet no equivalent men’s cards. I felt so angry as at the time I was at uni/just left and I’d been so exposed to feminism and here I was witnessing this sexist double standard. I remember seeing one card with a picture of the back of a woman wearing only knickers and I got it for my male flatmate’s birthday. It was a bit of a political statement, but I’m sure he liked it 🙂

  3. aspasialibertine says:

    Well, I’m not just a less muscular version of a man, thank you very much. My strength does not lie in muscular power. If, on average, men are capable of physically overpowering women does it not make sense that women have a different kind of power, a different potency, a different allure? And yes, that power might be connected to sexuality. You may not like that it is, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean there’s an evil abstract entity enforcing it that you have to bring down.

    *claps enthusiastically* YES!!!!! That these feminists demonize female sexuality, why, doesn’t that just play into TEH PATRIARCHY who would prefer that woman neglect to exploit their strong suit and instead spend time chasing after a power, potency, and allure that will never be theirs to exploit? I literally jumped out of my seat and started clapping in the middle of my living room when I read that part.

  4. Anja Eriud says:

    Hi Elena

    I have just found your blog, and have enjoyed reading your posts. Greetings from across the pond (Ireland) and delighted to find there are still sane females around 🙂

    Anja 🙂

  5. Perspective please says:

    Just found this blog via Erin Pezzy – excited to read more – i am a man in Canada who has slowly become aware of the fact that i am living in a feminist nightmare here in Toronto – and nobody but nobody is talking about it – my only company is blogs like this, i feel like a gay man in a small town.

    anyway thanks!

    ps… Well put!!! :

    Well, I’m not just a less muscular version of a man, thank you very much. My strength does not lie in muscular power. If, on average, men are capable of physically overpowering women does it not make sense that women have a different kind of power, a different potency, a different allure? And yes, that power might be connected to sexuality. You may not like that it is, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean there’s an evil abstract entity enforcing it that you have to bring down.

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